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McLean researchers

Dost Öngür: Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Research Program

McLean scientists are working to understand brain abnormalities in people with psychotic disorders and develop new treatment approaches to correct these abnormalities.

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder commonly involve difficulty integrating thoughts and sensory input. In addition, people with these conditions often have abnormal moods, as in depressive and manic episodes. At McLean, innovative techniques are enabling us to look closely at the basic biology of psychotic disorders.

Our approaches include:

  • A range of brain imaging techniques
  • Clinical research; for example, identifying patterns in the ways patients present and respond to treatment
  • Collaborations with researchers in genetics and cell biology
  • Cognitive remediation featuring computer programs that improve patients’ cognition
  • A longitudinal approach that seeks to identify biological markers for different stages and courses of illness

Our long-term goal is to develop new treatments for our patients, including medicines, computer programs, and early intervention strategies. The Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Research Program was founded in 2006 and has grown greatly in scope and depth since then.